All major events on the sports calendar for the coming months have already been canceled or postponed. Only one remains on the summer program for the moment: the Tour de France.
What if there was only one left? TheEuro 2020 football, the Tokyo Olympics, the Tour of Italy cycling: all major sporting events scheduled to take place in the coming months have already been canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus epidemic. Only one remains on the summer calendar: the Tour de France and for the moment, its cancellation is not topical.
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If the race organizer, ASO, does not wish to make any comments at the moment, the information gathered by franceinfo does not go in the direction of a cancellation. Normally, the Tour de France must depart from Nice on June 27 and at this time, hotel reservations are also maintained in the sector on this date.
Arrangements and other plans are, however, under consideration, particularly for all that concerns the public. Several service providers have already been called to discuss the reduced presence of people and vehicles at the start and finish of the stages, which would primarily affect the advertising caravan and the usual ten million spectators at the roadside. But contrary to what was mentioned by the Minister of Sports, Roxana Maracineanu, on Wednesday, there is no question of a closed session, unworkable anyway on the more than 3,400 kilometers of course. We would rather be on a distance between spectators and runners, set up on a smaller scale during Paris-Nice a fortnight ago
Question plan B, to shift the Tour de France a little later in the summer is a possibility, the postponement of the Games opening a media window. For now, the departure is scheduled for June 27 in Nice, and the arrival on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on July 19. But a postponement would also cause a significant number of logistical complications, particularly for the hotel offer. And that would complicate the rest of the cycling season with the Tour of Spain, also organized by ASO, whose departure is scheduled for August 19.
If, even before the IOC’s decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, many voices demanded their postponement, the peloton sees itself at the start of the Tour de France this summer, without any hesitation. Many have underlined the number of nationalities which are much less important for cyclists than for the athletes of the Games, with a “very identified” population and less mixing. And then, the Tour, which has been part of the French landscape since 1903, is the highlight of the cycling season and the financial stakes for the teams and their sponsors are enormous. “Discussions are daily with partners, indicates Jerôme Pineau, the manager of the French team B & B-Vital Concept. The main investment is for visibility. We will not hide that maintaining the Tour de France is essential … “
Whatever the date of the show, we will deliver it, whether it’s three weeks in July or August and it’s called Tour de France, we will deliver it. There is only one desire, it is to go on the Tour.at franceinfo
And all the runners or team managers we interviewed said they were ready to be at the start. With some, however, a downside: that outdoor training can resume at the latest in early May to absorb the pace of the three weeks of racing. And there, everything depends on the evolution of the epidemic in France and in Europe. In the end, the last word will go to the health authorities and the Ministry of the Interior, which may or may not authorize the organization of events this summer. We should know more about the Tour de France in the second half of April.